KEYWORDS: home, criteria, time, board, family, lord

God's Trampolines!

Karen Zerby

Introduction to the Criteria of the International Boards

By MariaFD/MM/FM 3508 9/04

Dear Family,

1. Peter and I love you very much! You are in our prayers and we're so happy to hear how the restructuring of the Family is beginning to take shape. You're heroes in our book, as we know you've been extremely busy and have faced monumental challenges as you've each fought to get back to the foundation principles and lifestyle that make the Family what it is! There are many wonderful miracles awaiting us as we continue to follow the Lord in obedience, humility, and yieldedness. So please don't get weary with the walk‚ or feel that it's just too much or too difficult. As long as you keep going, you'll make it!

2. We all feel weak and overwhelmed at times. That's a natural human reaction‚ and we are very aware that there's plenty coming at you from all sides. But as long as you follow the Lord, have faith, and obey, you're going to be successful. We have all the promises of Heaven and the powerful keys and the never-defeated weapon of praise on our side‚ and nothing can stand in the way of victory!

The Board Criteria Are Coming

3. There's never a dull moment when you're serving the Lord, and this year is certainly proof of that! Whew! It's already been so exciting, and there's more to come. Over the next months you'll be receiving very important information from each of the international boards; I'm referring to the criteria upon which the review of the FD Homes will be based. (You will receive the CGO board criteria with this Letter.) You probably recall that in "Forward, Always Forward" Peter explained briefly that there would be a yearly review of all the FD Homes. More information will be coming your way next year regarding the details of the Home review and how it will be conducted.

4. An integral part of that review is the basis of judgment or set of criteria that the international board of each pillar is producing that outlines what an FD Home is responsible to do in that board pillar in order to retain their FD membership. A lot of work, prayer‚ discussion, and hearing from the Lord have gone into each of these documents. They were worked on at the Summit‚ and then each international board met or will meet again to finalize their decisions (among other business that they need to attend to).

5. It's only fair, of course, that you are given ample advance notice of what is required in each pillar. This is articulated in the criteria of each board, and further details are provided through the questionnaires/report forms from each board. Those report forms are the actual reports that you will be asked to fill out in April and October of 2005.

These Criteria Are Meant to Be a Blessing, Not a Burden

6. I want to talk with you about these criteria that you'll be receiving, as I know one of your first reactions will be to feel overwhelmed. They are long and detailed, and there will surely be quite a few points from each one that your Home is not doing well in at present. And that, coupled with the other challenges that you are facing right now, has the potential to really knock you for a loop. But that's not the intent at all! Peter and I sincerely want you to feel challenged and encouraged when you see the FD requirements laid out clearly‚ concisely, and in detail, but we understand that there's a good chance that's not how you'll feel, at least not initially.

7. The first hurdle that you'll encounter is that it's very difficult to assimilate so much information at once. It can be mind–boggling and can even make you feel like there's no hope. Not only will you honestly have to come face to face with your genuine lacks, but you'll also have the Enemy's lies and exaggerations to contend with. It might be rough, and that's why I want to explain the Lord's viewpoint on this before you even see a single report form or read anything from the international boards.

8. To begin with, the board criteria are for your good. They're to help you have a better focus, a clearer vision, and an accurate picture of what the Lord and Peter and I expect of you. It will look a little bit overwhelming because there are so many details and "to dos‚" but as you accept these criteria with an attitude of faith and positiveness, you will soon realize that they are not a burden but a blessing.

9. They are a little bit like the Charter in that when it first came out, many people were overwhelmed with the enormity of it. Never before had we had such a massive document that outlined all the responsibilities and rights of Family members, as well as all the rules and regulations and procedures. At first it was daunting for many of you—so many responsibilities to live up to, so many rules to keep‚ so many details and procedures. But with time, the Charter has become an integral part of life, and now we all have accepted it and see it as a vital document‚ because the standard, the rules, and the responsibilities are all in one place, and there is consistency in the standard and discipline.

10. Well, that's a little bit like these criteria. They're like mini-charters for the different aspects of Family life. And although it might look a bit overwhelming at first, because never before have we had so much information‚ guidelines, and responsibilities on these subjects put into documents, just as with the Charter, it's not meant to be a yoke of bondage but rather to make things easier for you. Now you will know more clearly what is expected of you, with these guidelines compiled and condensed from the abundance of Word the Lord has given us over the years. With time you will see that having more clearly defined goals and a definite knowledge of what is expected of you will be a blessing rather than a burden.

11. Much of what you will read in the criteria, you're already doing. But at the same time you will definitely discover areas that you will need to improve in. For this reason, we're giving you the benefit of time—time to make changes, time to grow, time to ensure that your Home is living up to its full potential. You're not going to be judged immediately on these criteria; you're going to have time to change things and to improve, so that by the time the first Home review comes around, your Home will be hitting the mark much more in many more areas.

12. It's human nature to not bother to do something if you don't think anyone is expecting it of you. It's also human nature to forget, or to overlook things, or to let important things slip through the cracks‚ especially when you're really busy. But you'll be much less likely to let things slide now that you'll have all the information you need on how to have a good FD Home clearly laid out, so that you can refer to it frequently.

Tackle the Tasks One by One

13. The Enemy will tempt you to think‚ "How is our Home ever going to be able to do all this on top of everything we already have on our plates?" If you feel this way, think back on other times in your life when you felt the same—that something the Lord was asking of you was too much, or that you couldn't handle one more push or one more "to do," or make progress in one more area—but He helped you, He strengthened you, and He empowered you. Sometimes you just get the before–battle blues, especially with changes that the Enemy knows are going to be so life-changing and strengthening. He knows what's happening in the spirit‚ so of course he's going to fight it.

14. His first line of attack will be the "it can't be done" one. So when he attacks you, fight him. Cling to the key promises, step out by faith, and make changes one day at a time.

15. That's an important principle that's vital to your success: Tackle things in progression. If you look at everything at once and try to make every improvement simultaneously, you'll get frustrated. So focus on one area or a few areas first, and then focus on the next area where you need to improve. It takes a lot of work to make changes a part of your life, but once they become a part of your Home, your routine, and your habits, it becomes less intense. Then you can work on the next area you want to strengthen—then the next, and the next.

16. Compare it to eating a meal. You don't try to gobble up all the food at once, especially if it's an elaborate meal with many courses. You take your time. You eat the appetizers, you eat the soup or the salad, then you go on to the main course or courses, and then finally you have dessert. If you were in a restaurant and were about to eat a full-course meal‚ it would be silly to think you were supposed to stuff it all in your mouth in the first ten minutes, and to then get discouraged thinking that you couldn't. Instead, you're supposed to take it one course at a time and enjoy each course before you go to the next. Then at the end of the meal you're satisfied and content.

17. Well, look at the board criteria a little bit like that. It's like a big, full-course meal that you need to eat and digest bit by bit. Don't rush and try to "eat" everything at once. Take your time and pace yourself.

18. Or you can think of yourself running through an obstacle course. If you approached the beginning of the course and looked at all the complicated things you were supposed to do, it might seem overwhelming. But if you just start with the first obstacle and work your way through that, then go on to the next, and the next, you'll find that it's doable. Before you know it, you'll be able to look back and see how far you've come and what progress you've made.

19. So don't get discouraged or quit before the course even begins‚ because it's very possible for your Home to achieve the goals that the Lord's putting before you if you take it one day at a time, one step at a time, and overcome one obstacle at a time. And if your Home works together as a team, in unity, all striving for the same goals, your progress will be even faster.

20. You as an individual will not have the skill, talent, experience or time to fulfill all the requirements of each board. That's not the intention. No one is superman; no one can do everything. But as you build larger Homes, as you form winning teams‚ together you will have the faith, gifts, talents, know-how, initiative, and all that you need to do what needs to be done to create a good FD Home.

21. It's best if you enter into this challenge with the idea that you will need to make a lot of changes in the way you do things. As individuals and a team you'll need to be flexible, let go of the way you've always done it, be willing to learn new things, and share the responsibility and authority amongst all your Home members so that the load is not too heavy for any one person.

22. We never could have instituted these board criteria for small or single-family Homes; it would have been unrealistic to have put such a standard in place. But now that you're forming stronger, bigger, more well-rounded teams, it's the Lord's time to really go to work to make each FD Home all that it can be, and the only way to do that is to have our vision and goals clearly articulated in a way that is not only reachable‚ but where there is accountability. That's what the board criteria and the yearly Home reviews will accomplish. While it will be difficult to get used to, you will adjust and eventually be thankful, especially when you see the Family grow and be strengthened as a result. Praise the Lord!

Manuals to Build the Best Trampolines

23. Here is a message from our Husband with great advice and an action word picture that you'll not soon forget!

24. (Jesus:) Evaluations are great! Everyone needs them. Once you've had an evaluation, you know what areas you're weak in and what you need to work on improving and strengthening. These board criteria are an across-the-board standard and means of evaluation whereby every single Home and individual will know what I'm expecting of them. In every way they are positive, steppingstones to greater fruitfulness, and a means by which each Home and individual can clearly know what steps they need to take so they're walking the path of full obedience.

25. Of course, whenever I ordain or issue something new for My Family—but something which at the same time requires faith and an "it can be done" attitude—the Enemy is always right there whispering in your ear, telling you "it's too much" or "it can't be done." In this case, you'll initially be faced with a fair amount of material to read through and assimilate. That can be daunting, especially along with everything else that's going on in your life at the same time. And you can be certain that the Enemy always has his negative spin on things, which he's more than willing to propagate, tempting you to worry, or fear, or to think that you won't make it.

26. The Devil will especially be trying very hard to sink your faith on this one, because he knows that these criteria are not only the standard and the lamp which will keep your feet firmly on My path, but they are My positive springboard—the trampoline, if you will—which will catapult each Home and individual further into the era of greater works! The era of greater works began at the turn of the century, but compromise and disobedience have prevented the full fulfillment of those promises. Now these changes will help the Family to go further than it has ever gone in this era and fulfill your role as the miracle workers of the End. And once you actually start bouncing and getting in the groove‚ you'll see why these criteria are nothing but positive!

27. They are your personal trainers that will lead you and your Home to success. They're your springboard to greater fruitfulness, and at the same time will give you freedom from any false expectations, lies, or fears the Enemy might have been whispering in your ear as to what will be expected of you in order for you to qualify or make the grade.

28. First of all, I want to encourage you not to look at the complexity of these criteria, which could arrive at a time when you're in a state of flux or change‚ you're stretched financially‚ finding new teams or housing, or maybe a mixture of all three. The temptation to feel overwhelmed will be there, but I want you to keep in the forefront of your mind and spiritual vision that the board criteria are My gift to you, although the "packaging" might seem a little overwhelming at first.

29. My loves, you have My Word and promise that each criterion can be met and can be attained by anyone who wants to reach and attain it. These are My mandates for producing professional, winning disciples and Homes. These are My secrets to success! These are My instruction manuals on how to build your very own "the sky's the limit" trampoline! These manuals will help you build the very best trampolines—those that are safe and durable and which will keep you happy and bouncing for Me for a long time! And that's the whole idea: I want to see you bouncing high and professionally.

30. These manuals will show you how to put together and maintain a trampoline that will keep your collective "body" toned, strengthened‚ and developed. For anyone who truly desires to be the best and excel as one of My full-time disciples, these criteria are your springboard to excellence and being the best you can be for Me.

31. And rest assured that while My trampolines are designed to be tough and durable to give maximum "bounce-ability" and long life, at the same time they're not hard and stiff. The strands of My trampolines are woven together with cross strands of love and wisdom, which allow the air of My Spirit to flow through, so there's always a balance there and the freedom to follow My Spirit and leading.

32. So now's the time to check out these instruction manuals and build yourself a trampoline that will take you higher than you've ever been before! These manuals will show you how to maintain your trampoline and keep it in top working order, so there are no holes, frayed edges, or weak spots. They'll give you advice and pointers on any repairs needed‚ so you can easily refurbish your trampoline. Just remember that it takes time to build, and even to repair. This is why I've given you these instruction manuals ahead of time, so you don't have to feel overwhelmed or pressured.

33. So, just as you do with anything new I'm asking of you or bringing into your lives, I want you to take a deep breath, ask Me to help you see things from My perspective, and then take it one step at a time. Know that I bring nothing into your life that is not for your good, and I definitely do not require anything of you, My loves, that isn't attainable and doable.

34. Remember, these criteria are something to work toward. That means you do not have to attain every single criterion all at once. That's the beauty and wisdom in My giving these to you ahead of time‚ so they can be a positive tool to help you do better each day. The secret to success at the initial stage of receiving these criteria is to receive them in a spirit of faith, with a praiseful "it can be done" attitude.

35. These are another tool in your hands to teach you how to win, how to bounce high, how to be a winning team. What better and more effective way to know how you're doing and faring in different areas than evaluating yourselves and your Home.

36. In a way, it's like I'm giving you an open book test now, where I'm making it as easy as possible for you to pass the final exam by letting you know ahead of time what the questions will be. Now that's love; and that shows you that I'm on your side‚ making it as easy as possible for you to be good and get not only a passing grade, but a winning grade. That's My goal—to make you all into winners and winning Homes and winning teams! (End of message.)

37. (Mama:) It's merciful of the Lord to give us this "open book test." I always appreciated the teachers I had that allowed open book tests—those are tests when the students could use their textbooks to find the answers to the questions on the test. Those teachers seemed to me to be the ones that were genuinely interested in our learning, understanding‚ and doing well, without having to go through long, draining hours and hours of memorizing and trying to prepare in advance for any and all questions that might be asked on the test. That kind of test was much more stressful, and it didn't always have the right results. Even if you crammed real hard to study, usually you'd forget quickly and you'd lose a lot of what you gained.

38. But when you could move along at a good pace, thinking‚ studying, finding the answers, and seeing how it all fit together, then you had a much better grasp of the subject and could actually remember what you learned‚ or at least a good part of it. Many times that was a better approach. So why should we be surprised that the Lord‚ our caring, wise Professor, would use that method in helping us to study, learn, and retain the progress we're making?

39. He's helping each of us and each Home that wishes to remain FD to have a clear understanding of what the important subjects are, what questions will be asked, where we need to study and improve, and how we can do well. This isn't a big mystery; it's pretty straightforward. You read the criteria and you'll see how that particular area of our lifestyle will be looked at in regards to your Home. If you study and follow the guidelines of the criteria, if you let them be the standard for your priorities and goals, if you continue to progress and are watchful regarding the various points on the "open book tests," then you'll do fine and you'll pass with flying colors.

Board Archaeologists and Architects

40. This next message from our Lover gives further explanation of why we need these criteria. This isn't exactly "new information," since you have been learning more and more about the ongoing weaknesses of the Family and why change is needed. But it's good to have a little review, as each time the Lord says it a bit differently, and that helps us to understand more deeply. As you read this, you'll be reminded that we have so much to be thankful for. This is a great opportunity to flash the keys of praise in the Enemy's face and defeat his inroads. Let's use that undefeatable weapon of praise and really get the Ol' Boy on the run! Yes‚ the Family has a ways to go, that's why we are restructuring and preparing for the year of strengthening. But let's not dwell on the problems or think about the losses; let's look at the future and praise the Lord for the victories that are to come! It's going to be terrific!

41. (Jesus:) You, My Family, are privileged to have a wonderful wealth of instruction in the Word on pretty much every topic available. Within the Letters David wrote, the Words of New Wine that Maria and Peter have poured forth, and the counsel and testimonies written by Family leadership and missionaries over the years, you can find something on just about everything in your pubs. Your publications can teach you almost anything you need to know about each of the main aspects of your missionary life and discipleship standard. If each Home and disciple would just live what's in the Word, you'd be doing great in every area!

42. So, why is it that not every Home or individual is doing great in every area? Well, there are a number of reasons, and one of them is that, as you know, some of you simply haven't been very obedient and haven't heeded My counsel as it came your way, until by and by you found yourself in a pretty bad state, pretty far away from the true standard of discipleship. In other cases‚ it's been in part a matter of laziness—not stirring yourself up to study the Word, apply what it says, and do what you're supposed to be doing about it. And, in many cases, your hearts and intentions have been good, but you've lost sight of the standard in some areas of your lives, simply because there's so much to do, so much to read, so much to keep up with, that it's been overwhelming‚ and therefore you've let it slide.

43. I have led and inspired your king and queen to commission each board to set criteria for the Family discipleship standard in each pillar of Family life—Childcare and Parenting, Education‚ Church Growth and Outreach, JETT/Teen shepherding and training, Public Relations, and Shepherding and Spiritual Life. I have called on the boards to prayerfully and diligently research the standard that is laid out in the Word, and compile and condense the main points into a reference manual that will help to make it clearer and easier for you to see, as a Home and as an individual, what the standard is that you are striving for and exactly what is expected of you. This will save you the time of having to laboriously study the Word on each of these pillars and determine on your own what you need to be working on and improving in to meet the discipleship standard.

44. I want the standard in each area of Family life to be clear, compiled and printed in black and white‚ so that nobody has to wonder or worry that, "Maybe I'm not doing enough," or "Maybe I'm missing something" because you had to come up with your Word-based standard on your own. It's not that you couldn't, because many things are quite clear in the printed Word—but it would certainly take a lot of time and work in some cases. Neither do I want some people to go along believing that they're living the full discipleship standard when they're in fact falling short.

45. Remember the analogy that Father David once gave you of the archaeologist? He told you how he was like the archaeologist, clearing away the clutter and rubble of the churches and uncovering the truth, so that you could see what the Bible really said and what My message really was. Well, in a similar way, your Family boards have taken on the role of archaeologists to help dig through the "rubble" in the form of Family "traditions" that have been established, or attitudes that have been developed, that have become a de facto "standard" or are considered an acceptable "modus operandi"—but are falsely so‚ because they are not truly based on the standard of My Word.

46. The boards' commission is to reveal and make clear what the foundation is, what the essentials are. It's time to fully remove the rubble of traditions‚ wrong attitudes and mindsets, and rediscover the true Family discipleship standard in each pillar of Family life. Now you will have a more clearly visible foundation‚ and it will make it easier to work to rebuild and restructure the "house" of your life, your Home‚ your missionary work.

47. These board archaeologists are also architects, and they've worked hard, with a lot of help from Heaven‚ to draft the blueprint for the new house of the Family structure. When a house gets restructured, that doesn't just mean a remodeling. I'm not talking about a new porch or new windows here or there. Restructuring is when you strip the house of everything that isn't essential to the structure, or that is faulty or damaged, and you rebuild and replace it.

48. These new criteria will help you as a Family disciple and Family discipleship Home to restructure and rebuild the house of your Home's standard and discipleship. It's not going to be easy to read over these criteria and realize, in almost every case, that you've fallen short to some degree. Maybe you'll only have fallen short in one or two pillars, or maybe you'll have fallen a little bit short in all of them; or maybe you've even fallen pretty far beneath standard in all of them. In some ways and in some cases, that's the sad fruit of lethargy‚ disobedience, and neglect. In other cases, it's not entirely your fault, because you've been sort of swept along with the current and the overall trend toward compromise, or you couldn't find others who would work with you to help you fulfill the true standard. But it's time to put that in the past and to move forward, not worrying about trying to figure out what went wrong or how or why, but throwing yourselves into the work at hand of rebuilding your house according to the new blueprint you're being given.

49. Now we're clearing away the rubble of the "false traditions," and in a sense, the Family's own form of churchianity that has crept in through compromise. Now we're revealing and rediscovering the true foundation of what the Family is and means, and what our standard and goals are, and finding ways to reach those goals. It's not easy, and it's not going to come without a cost, but the results are going to be worth it.

50. It's always a lot of work to restructure and remodel a building‚ but it's a lot more work to have to build a new one from scratch if you let the old building fall apart completely. If you restructure, well, at least you have a good foundation to work with, and some of the main walls and pillars and essentials are at least in place and can be used toward the new design. Whereas if you leave a decaying building too long, then even the foundation can start to rot and decay, and then you really have your work cut out for you.

51. Thankfully‚ the Family still has a very solid foundation, which is the standard of the Word that you have been trained in and which is deeply ingrained within you. And now Mama and Peter and the Family boards are helping you rediscover and further strengthen that foundation, and then rebuild and restructure your Homes and lives upon that clear foundation. Thank Me and praise Me that I have provided you with archaeologists to help you come back to your foundation, and with architects who can help you redesign your structure. Thank Me and praise Me for this chance that you have to restructure and rebuild your Home and Family‚ and make it a better‚ happier‚ more effective place to live and love and serve Me.

52. Thank Me and praise Me that I've given you the tools for the job.—I've given you the Word, which is both the dynamite that will blow up and destroy the old and is also the cement that will help hold the new together. I've given you the power of prayer and the power of the keys to augment your prayers, and these are like the powerful construction machines that help move everything into place. I've given you foremen in the persons of your leadership. And you‚ My dear Family, are the labor that will help make this project a reality.

53. Some of you are highly skilled labor, and some of you may feel unskilled or lacking in training; in either case, if you have the ability and desire to learn, and if you're willing to work with and learn from others as you go, then you will be adequate for the task at hand. Together we will create something beautiful as we follow the blueprint that I have carefully laid out for the Family's reconstruction. (End of message.)

54. (Mama:) We've got a lot of work to do! Building winning teams, strengthening your Home, and fulfilling the criteria will mean a lot of planning, organizing, hearing from the Lord, sacrificing some of your free time as well as your personal preferences at times, thinking about others‚ operating in unity as a team, making changes in the way you do things, discussing problems and finding solutions, making schedules and following through, etc. None of this will just "happen." We can't just pray and expect God to do it all. We have to work, and work hard. But that's never going to be enough either, because no matter how hard each of us works, we really need the "God factor" to make it.

55. You will reach times when you feel discouraged, you'll be tired, and things will look daunting and impossible! But don't let that worry you, because that's a terrific position to be in, because then and only then do you take hold of the power of God. That's the key that will make all the difference! Let this next message from the One Who loves you more than anyone encourage you. Believe these words, receive them, and let them give you faith!

The Promises of God Are the Same as Ever

56. (Jesus:) Look to Me, My loves. Don't look at the waves. When Peter looked at the waves, he sank. So if you look at the obstacles or allow yourself to feel overwhelmed by the criteria, then you'll sink too. But if you look up to Me, if you hold My hand, and if you have faith that I will help you to not just struggle to tread water, but to actually walk on the water, then it will be done—according to your faith. If you look at the waves and the obstacles and the difficulties and your own inabilities and weaknesses, you will sink. But if you look to Me, if you put your faith in Me, no matter how weak you feel, no matter how many goals you need to reach, and no matter how much progress you need to make, you will not fail, because I will be your support and your strength and your Improvement Guide.

57. Some of these criteria are very businesslike; they're the bare facts of your responsibilities in the different pillars of Family life. But when reading them‚ don't forget Me. Don't forget the big picture of My power, My ability, My might, My strength, My keys, My desire to see you make it, My eagerness to speak to you in prophecy about how to make every decision—from the biggest down to the smallest—and how all this enormously improves your chances of success.

58. Don't forget the solid promises of: "The weakness of God is stronger than man." "When I am weak‚ then am I strong." "All things are possible to him that believeth." "We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of man." "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God."

59. I am just as real today as ever. I am right in your hearts‚ right in your Homes, and more than willing to give you everything you need to make this new grade in your service to Me. It's a time when we're tightening up our ranks, rebuilding the walls of our defenses that have crumbled, when we're sharpening our swords for the coming battles. All those who are willing will make the grade. All those who want to be a part of My army will be strengthened.

60. It's not a time to flunk out or fail because you think it can't be done before you even try. It's a time to use the keys as never before to enable you to do My will, to reach new heights, to strengthen your Homes, and to even enjoy doing it. I promise that I will not fail you. My keys will not fail you. This is just another step in the strengthening of the Family. And although it isn't easy, it's necessary. And because it's necessary, every ounce of spiritual and physical power you need to make the grade is at your disposal.

61. I love opportunities like this to show My power. I love it when you get to the point where you truly feel that you can't do it, that you can't make it, and that you don't have any power within yourselves. It's at times like this when I'm able to perform My greatest miracles, because I know you'll give Me all the glory and credit!

62. So if you feel like you can't do it, if the criteria look like a huge mountain ahead of you, all you have to do is hand Me a tiny mustard seed of faith. That's all I need to begin the process of transforming that mountain into steps that you can take one at a time. I know you can't climb a big mountain in one day, but you can take little steps every day, and that's all that I'm asking. Little steps taken faithfully will get you over the mountain. All I ask of you is that you take a step or two today‚ then a step or two tomorrow. Faithful, regular steps of change make for great long–term progress. So how about it? Will you give it a try? Will you give Me a chance? (End of message.)

63. (Mama:) Let's use those powerful keys and the undefeated weapon of praise and go to battle! Let's take our Lover's word for it and make it happen!

64. Peter and I love each of you very much! We expect great things and look forward to the future with happiness and faith‚ because we know, as Dad has taught us, that the future is as bright as the promises of God. We have so many promises! What you just read are Jesus' personal special promises to each of us. We have nothing to fear. So let's give it our best shot, and we know He won't fail us! You are in our prayers! God bless and keep you fighting!

Much love in our Miracle Man,


General points related to the review of the Homes and the criteria from the International Boards

By Peter

Dear Family,

65. We love you and pray for you daily. Thank you for taking your time to prayerfully study the criteria from each international board. As Mama explained above, please try to look at this as a challenge, something good and a gift from the Lord, rather than as a burden. It will be what you make it.

66. Mama and I are confident that as you work together in unity and depend on the Lord together, you'll do well and make a lot of terrific progress. We are expecting great things, and look forward to a year of strengthening in 2005, with the Home review being a crucial factor in that success.

67. Here are a few points related to the board criteria that you'll be receiving over the next months. There will be another GN coming next year that will explain the details of how the Home review will be conducted, but in the meantime, we hope these few points will put things in perspective and answer a few questions for you.

68. * The criteria, report form/questionnaire, and the accompanying pubs or handbook from each international board will be different in the way it's put together. It might have been nice if we could have had a standard format for these publications, but that wasn't possible, because each international board worked on its material at the same time (during Summit 2003 and at their IB meetings, all of which were held more or less simultaneously during the last few months). Through discussion‚ prayer, research‚ and asking the Lord, each board discovered the direction the Lord wanted them to take, and it was a learning, growing, and step-by-step process. Each board is different‚ made up of unique individuals, and they all have ideas on what's the best approach, presentation‚ layout, etc., for their publications.

69. In light of that, do not expect the material you receive from the international boards to be uniform in the way it's presented or explained. Each board has done a very good job‚ and the material from each board is complete in its own way. So please just enjoy the variety and don't compare one board's publications with another's.

70. * The regular Home reviews will be based on the Home accountability concept. That will be reflected in the way the criteria is presented, and in the report form questions.

71. * Home accountability means that your Home will be judged during each review on a Home basis. Your Home will be evaluated and a decision on whether your Home will retain its FD membership will be made. (This is as opposed to each individual in the Home being reviewed separately.)

72. The final decision regarding the review will be based on the state of the Home, on the collective obedience to the Word and the state and fruitfulness of the Home overall. The board criteria will be looked at as a whole and a decision will be made in a balanced and Spirit-led fashion.

73. * Because of the Home accountability factor, there will only be Home reports done, not personal reports, unlike what happened in Brazil. Brazil was a different situation and there were no VSs or board structure in place, so the COs needed an avenue to receive more information from the Homes. But that's not the case now, worldwide, so there will not be personal reports.

74. * In order to provide those who will review and evaluate the Homes with recent information on each Home, you will need to fill out the report forms that you will receive from each international board twice a year‚ in April and October. In addition to the board report forms‚ information and stats will be collected from the reporting office, from the COs the Activated desks, and through VS and CO visitation.

75. * Homes that wish to continue as FD Homes will be required to obey the Love Charter and the Fundamental Family Rules in full and strive to be full-time disciples according to the New Wine. Some points on the report forms might not be specifically spelled out in the Charter, but they will be from the New Wine, which, according to the Charter Responsibilities, FD Homes are to endeavor to obey. For this reason, the criteria from each board might be enlarged upon or amended with time, according to the new direction the Lord gives in the GNs.

76. * The board criteria might focus on various Charter points or Charter amendments. However‚ please understand that if a point in the Charter is not mentioned in the board criteria or report forms, that does not mean that point no longer needs to be adhered to, nor does it mean that that aspect of the Charter will not be considered in the evaluation. We simply could not include every single Charter point in these documents.

77. FD Homes will be held accountable for the full Charter, whether a given Charter clause is mentioned specifically in the criteria or not.

78. * We would be very saddened and disappointed if any Homes were deliberately dishonest in their reporting. So, as we're sure you'll understand, if it was ever discovered that your Home was intentionally fraudulent when filling out your reports, you will be in jeopardy of losing your FD membership. We realize that there might be honest mistakes or differences in perception, but if there are deliberate falsities, that will be looked upon as a serious negative factor in your Home's evaluation.

79. * All Home members should attend and participate in the Home meetings in which the report forms from each board are filled out, unless there are unavoidable circumstances preventing someone from attending, such as sickness or unavoidable trips, etc.

80. Following are the rules for voting when filling out the board report forms:

*Each question on the report form must be discussed if necessary and voted on by the Home's voting members. A majority vote decides what the Home's response will be on any point of the report form.

*A minimum of two-thirds of the Home's voting members must be present in order to conduct the meeting for filling out any board report form.

*A member cannot vote by proxy.

*If a member is absent, he should still participate in the vote‚ if possible, submitting his vote beforehand. (Note: As mentioned above, only 1/3 of Home members are allowed to be absent, even if they submit their vote in advance. If 2/3 of the Home's voting members aren't present, the review cannot be conducted.)

*Only under unavoidable circumstances would an absent member not vote, and that member would need to officially declare that they relinquish their right to vote on that board report or review.

*If 2/3 of your Home's voting members are not together at the appropriate time to fill out the board reports and you're unable to complete them at the appointed time, please realize that this will count quite heavily against your Home and may result in you losing your FD membership.

81. Thank you for your faithfulness in studying the criteria carefully and prayerfully. We believe the Lord will help you understand the intent of the various board publications and receive the challenges in a spirit of faith and "it can be done." We love you very much!

With love and prayers,


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